Monday, December 01, 2003

Can't catch this in Texas 

Conservative students at Texas A&M are being blamed for the poor performance of Texas A&M's football team, whose head coach may be fired as early as today. The coach, who was on the committee that hired the diversity VP at A&M, has struggled to a sub-.500 record, and says the Hopwood decision has made it harder for them to recruit ... though it has also done so for UTexas. Maybe Aggies bake better cookies.

Meanwhile, Texas Christian's athletic department has turned down the GMAC Bowl (how many of you know what GMAC stands for??) because it interferes with their final exam schedule. They would like to play a later bowl. Sportscaster Jim Rome was all over TCU for this today, suggesting they are hurt over being invited to a minor bowl which is all they deserve. I could go two ways here. On one hand, to dismiss the claim of academic concerns for student-athletes is simply too cynical, which is of course how Rome makes his money. TCU should be concerned about those exam schedules; I have many hockey players as students and their semesters are heavily disrupted by end of season tournaments (at least they have one.) On the other hand, TCU is part of Conference USA which signs deals with bowls like GMAC to guarantee income for conference members. TCU is shirking its responsibility to the conference with the turn-down.

UPDATE: Best of the Web finds what the Aggie AD said:
The Texas A&M Bake Sale plays right into the hands of those who recruit against us, in both athletics and in the general student population. They will use something like this to suggest that Texas A&M does not have a welcoming environment.

We all know that is not true. Unfortunately, a few individuals represented 45,000 students and an entire community in precisely the wrong light.
Somehow, sir, when I imagine Bob Stoops going into a house to recruit a student-athlete, I imagine that he's more persuasive with his national championship rings than with a clipping of a story about bake sales. Or he could just say "Scoreboard!"